Hung Jury

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Hung Jury

A trial jury duly selected to make a decision in a criminal case regarding a defendant's guilt or innocence, but who are unable to reach a verdict due to a complete division in opinion.

When a jury has been given an adequate opportunity to deliberate and is unable to reach a verdict, a retrial takes place at the discretion of the prosecution. The subsequent trial does not constitute a violation of the constitutional prohibition of Double Jeopardy.

hung jury

n. slang for a hopelessly deadlocked jury in a criminal case, in which neither side is able to prevail. Usually it means there is no unanimous verdict (although in Oregon and Louisiana 10 of 12 jurors can convict or acquit). If the jury is hung the trial judge will declare a mistrial. A new trial from scratch, with a new jury panel, is required. The prosecutor can decide not to re-try the case, particularly if a majority of the jury favored acquittal. (See: jury, dismissal, trial, mistrial)

References in periodicals archive ?
Kalven and Zeisel made this decision on the advice of an experienced prosecutor who estimated that about half of the time trials that ended in a hung jury eventually resulted in a conviction while the other half were either never retried or resulted in acquittal.
Convicted of manslaughter for the 1985 death of her first husband in Toronto, Lu maintained that she pled guilty to escape the legal mess she found herself in after the first two trials ended in a hung jury and a mistrial.
The rabbi, whose trial ended with a hung jury last fall, is accused of killing his wife in a case that has received international attention.
The trial of Roy Wright ended in a hung jury when one juror held out for life imprisonment because of Wright's --.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Porter declares a hung jury in the first-degree murder trial of Jonathan Tolliver, an African American 19-year-old and alleged gang member charged with murdering Chicago Police Officer Michael Ceriale in 1998.
However, the only other time the penalty phase of a case was reached -- in New York in 1992, before capital punishment was reinstated -- resulted in a hung jury and the defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment.
He points out that 75 percent of Whitewater cases ended in hung juries compared to a 5 percent hung jury rate in criminal trials generally.
After one trial ended in a hung jury, Clair George was convicted on two felony counts of lying to Congress.
The first, with Thaw claiming to be innocent based on "the unwritten law" over White's violation of Nesbit, resulted in a hung jury.
Arizona judges will also have the option of limiting the length of a trial and avoiding a hung jury by polling deadlocked jurors to determine whether unanswered questions remain.
Nor is a hung jury necessarily a failure of the system; it's often the failure of the prosecution to meet its burden of proof.
That not-withstanding, in King County Superior Court this past March, the jury trial of two persons charged with felony malicious harassment resulted in a hung jury.